Former Stobart Air Employees Express Concern About Their Futures
According to The Irish Times, numerous former Stobart Air employees have expressed concern about their long-term futures following job losses last weekend.
Pilots, crew, and other staff were informed that the airline was closing in the early hours of Saturday morning.
Stobart Air, which flew regional routes for Aer Lingus, ceased trading with the loss of 480 jobs after its owner, British group Esken, said it was forced to withdraw financial support from the Irish carrier.
The High Court has appointed Deloitte Ireland partners Ken Fennell and Mark Degnan as provisional liquidators to the airline.
The airline leased its 13 aircraft, but has a number of assets, including some airport slots.
Stobart also held spare aircraft engines and other equipment.
Stobart Air traded profitably up to the end of 2019 but declining air travel ticket sales as a result of Covid-19 restrictions cost the group €19 million in lost revenues last year.
Speaking at an Irish Airline Pilots’ Association demonstration at the Department of Health on Wednesday, ex-employees said it could be a year or more before they have any hope of regaining employment.
"I don't know of any airline that is looking for pilots at the moment," said one, pointing out that extra restrictions imposed on non-vaccinated travellers from Britain this week had magnified the industry’s woes.
As reported by The Irish Times, another ex-worker compared the losses to a "bereavement" as she recalled that she received the email informing her of the closure at 12.20am on Saturday June 12, while she slept in preparation for an early morning flight.
She explained that she and her colleagues had spent hundreds of thousands on training and preparing to work as pilots.
"People say just get another job, but it's not as simple as that, this is like a vocation to us," she said.
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